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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Carole Eigen 2015

December 2015

Dear Members,

Organizations are facing new kinds of dilemmas, and we as members of ISPSO are challenged to bring new psychoanalytic thinking and practice to bear on these situations. The ways that members already engage with these challenges is reflected in our Listserve discussions and in our AM and LARA themes. Perhaps now we can extend these ways of coming together by making use of special interest networks that sustain our collaboration virtually between face-to-face meetings.

The work done by Muzaffer Mustafa (Muzi) and Manuel Seijo to bring the AM from Istanbul to Granada is an instance of this kind of networking. Their international planning team is providing a well-contained venue where opportunities for informal reflective spaces can flourish. Granada is a fascinating site representative of three religious cultures struggling to co-exist over centuries. It is uncanny how this reflects the current world situation and our desire as ISPSO members to think together about ethics.

As a Board and membership, we are still in the early stages of learning how to use digital technologies in the service of our shared work. In addition to members-only spaces, ISPSO encourages members to join our Facebook site, moderated by Nicola Wreford-Howard, and LinkedIn, moderated by Philip Boxer. These sites allow a wider network of interested colleagues, both members and non-members to engage in web-enabled discussions. My hope is that we will see many discussion groups forming around themes of interest for more intensive and long-term study in the coming years.

ISPSO’s appointed officers not only support the Board, but also the members in their collaborative efforts to work together. Enabling the Technology Officer, Andreas Amentas, to become a fully functioning member of the Executive has involved our Presidents (past, Jerry Fromm, present, Carole Eigen, and future, Simon Western) in revisiting the way the Board and Executive work together in support of the membership. The Board’s transitional efforts have also involved upgrading our accounts to deal with multiple currencies and to provide better reporting to the Secretary/Treasurer, Yvonne Webb. Fabio D’Apice has been appointed to the Executive Director position following Mike Faris into this role to support members from their entrance though their years of membership. We now have a much better sense of the shape of the membership in terms of our professional identifications and the economics of our activities. All of us are reminded to stay current in our dues so we can vote, access the Library, and have special rates for AM and LARA attendance!

The Board is confronting its own learning curve as upgraded technology has impacted on our ways of working together. The theme of the December Board meeting is: How is the Board working together to support the members? The agendas that we are taking into the Board meeting reflect this theme: Developing the academic impact of our research and writing (Steen Visholm); Extending the local engagement of LARA meetings with our members (Richard Morgan Jones); Enabling members’ and AM participants’ to access to the bodies of practice already developed amongst our members (Larry Hirshhorn); Understanding and recognizing the different kinds of support our members expect of ISPSO (Beth Neustadt); Building on members’ desires to network in support of their interests (Kathy White).

This working Board meets virtually and frequently to discover and shape new ways to continue to develop ISPSO. ISPSO provides leadership in our field by following and supporting the work of the membership. In this way, we strive together to become a center for innovative theory and practice.

My warmest regards,

Carole Carole Eigen
President ISPSO